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As long as software programs keep changing, companies will wonder if the expense of upgrading to the latest version is worthwhile. Is it better to migrate, implement, and customize the upgrade or is there a more competitive, ready-made program out there?

That was the dilemma faced by a Chicago-based leader in custom-made wire products, such as trellises for nursery and landscaping firms. They design and manufacture those products using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application for quoting, planning and scheduling, procurement, engineering management, manufacturing, inventory management, and finance.

Facing an Upgrade/Replacement Dilemma

According to the client, their ERP software was not keeping up with the features they wanted. Additionally, when they went to replace their physical server, they learned that the version of the software they were on would not run on a newer server.

Even though the wire-product manufacturer had paid for software upgrades for years, the ERP software provider claimed that the new required version was a whole new program. The manufacturer would have to purchase the software anew—a costly proposition.

Frustrated, the manufacturer called us, their IT services and solutions provider. They asked us to evaluate their options and check out alternative ERP applications for the ongoing costs of upgrades, implementation, and maintenance.

In providing IT support for a wide variety of companies—manufacturing, office, municipality, and healthcare among others—we frequently encounter this problem. Software outlives its usefulness and companies are thrust back into the situation they thought they had resolved with their initial purchase. Yet every year, new functions, connectivity, and requirements upend the software landscape and make choices more difficult to compare.

Capturing $3,000/Year in Savings

Fortunately, our experts keep up with those changes and have both the necessary tools and widespread experience in software and hardware selection, installation, and customization to help clients make informed choices. Then we provide the IT support and maintenance that keeps their software and hardware running smoothly.

For the wire-product manufacturer, Future Link selected the three new ERP applications we felt best met their needs. We demoed each application and found that the one the manufacturer liked the most cost about the same upfront as an upgrade to their current ERP—but would entail less than half of the ongoing costs.

That difference saved them about $3,000 each year.

The company’s executives praised our involvement at every stage: “When we decided to make a change to our ERP software, Future Link helped us through evaluation of the software, installing a new server to run the software through installation and implementation. Future Link IT has been able to help us configure the software to conform to our business as well as customize parts to simplify the data entry. Not only do they provide qualified, personally delivered services, but have proven they care as much about our business as we do through their expertise in technology and support.”

Are you getting the ROI you expected from your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application? Are you frustrated by expensive upgrades that never quite match your specific requirements? Contact us today for help finding, implementing, and customizing the right ERP for your manufacturing company.

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